An elephant symbolises strength, honor, stability and patience. I am none of these things and all of these things. With a trunk facing up you offer me long life, luck, the removal of obstacles, self-preservation, advice and wisdom. But overall, you help me to remember. The collection of miniature elephant statues was never a choice it just started to happen.
From all walks of life they remember, they trust, they love, they are powerful they are guiders. They are leaders and protectors. My life has been a journey, one hell of a journey. Each elephant is a memory, a small fragile piece of a time, a place, a moment that I can take with me and hold and feel. An imperishable moment in time and space that can never be tainted. At least not now. To remember and reflect is the only way to learn and to grow and to move on, or at least pretend to. When I look above my desk I remember England, I remember the cold, the dark, the wind, the fog. But most of all I remember Holly, the one who understands, the one I wish didn't live so far away. The one who really gets me and knows exactly how I tick.
On top of a dresser, a dresser I use everyday, I think of my family. If only we grew up together, if only I saw you more often, if only I wasn’t too afraid to take the plunge and move there like I planned to so many times before. If only I didn't love the sun, the beach, the friends, if only he wasn’t depressed.
I could never leave her, not with him like that, not with him so vulnerable, finally opening up and penetrable, finally courageous enough to admit a problem.
The elephants I buy will never reflect this memory, I will never hold one in my hand and think of this. In a few years time it will be like it never happened, like I never swore and was torn and fought for you. It will be over. And even for now, now I choose not to remember, now I choose not to symbolise a poor, weak, impatient aggravator who has become a piece of furniture. It’s like you don’t even exist. So you are not here, not in my room, I am not surrounded by a beloved memory of me and you, and neither is your predecessor.
On the sidelines, a place I often try and avoid, is a memory. A memory of love and lust and hate and fuck. It hit me hard when you came and even harder when you left, I wasn’t ready, I didn’t even know what it was like to feel these things. Then you returned. You returned with a gift. You returned with a gift of a memory. What did you want me to remember? The nights of gut-wrenching tears, the days of force-fed eating? Or the night, the night you came back and told me it wasn’t all for nothing, then you gave me a memory and then you left. Again. Having changed my mind, but not my heart. Again.
Little did you know, the gift itself came with a deeper message, a forged sign from someone watching over. A symbol that dispenses all my luck, telling me to never go back there, and I will never.
Next to a bed, a bed you’ve slept in hundreds of times before, a bed you sacrificed for me so I didn't sleep on the floor. I will remember one person, the person whom I left, shattered, with no reasonable explanation. Totally responsible. Next to a bed, is my one true, pure memory. Paris. The pastries, the music, the brunches, the macaroons, the theatre, the Eiffel… Paris. Where lovers make and true love is questioned. I felt what I did and it was true and it was bare but it wasn’t enough to overcome another feeling, another fear, another memory. Where a lock on a bridge with the date of a date will stay. Paris. It’s not often I feel it, it’s not often it’s bad, or it’s good. Most often it’s nothing. But when I hold my little memory of Paris I smile and hope you are happy and well and loved and I’m sorry.